Consistency

When I first started my dissertation project, I was really excited to using my new found skills from a workshop I attended on a particular kind of software. I collect conversation data and one of the first things I have to do in the processing of that data is transcribe it. The software the workshop had taught facilitates transcription and allows you to create tiers of information that can be connected. So, if you are transcribing and then translating something, you can have a tier of what people said and a tier of the translation of what people said. If you then want to look at the subjects and the predicates, you can add a tier so that you can divide sentence information. Or, word information. Or, gesture information. Any information that you want to use.

When you first start a project, you have an idea of what is going to be relevant or useful. You know what research questions you are asking and what kind of data you will need to answer those research questions. But, sometimes, as you are working, you find other things that are interesting and you start looking for those things, too. It is really important to be consistent, though, when adding category names, especially retroactively. I was not careful, sometimes capitalizing names and sometimes not. This meant when I went to analyze the data, I had to combine a bunch of categories that were actually the same category because the computer program did not know that THIS, This, and this were the same thing. It was a valuable lesson in consistency. (Also, in updating my template).

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